7 Things I Didn’t Know about Sustainable Skincare

How do you recycle skincare bottles?  Did you know that the process of recycling is super picky? For example, when certain products have stickers on them, they can’t be recycled. Also, containers need to be completely cleaned out before they become recyclable. Even with living in San Francisco, a greener city, I didn’t know a lot of these things. I try to do what I can and where I can to help the environment. Although I eat vegan and I have things like a low-flow showerhead, I’m also a consumer of skincare. According to Zero Waste Week,  more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced globally every year by the cosmetics industry. So, how do we do better? 

Specifically, skincare and personal care products are my archnemeses when it comes to living sustainably. While I only have a few vital skincare products, they are a part of my everyday personal hygiene routine. Many of these products come in a wrapper, and there’s no denying that the best solution for the environment is to reduce, reuse, and recycle these. 

Let’s reduce the number of products that we’re using if we can.

Let’s reuse or repurpose the containers of products.

Let’s recycle and learn how to separate different components and what those numbers on the bottom of items really mean. 

The numbers on the bottom are mainly 1 through 7, and they specify the type of plastic the product is made of. 

  1. PETE
  2. HDPE (high density polyethylene)
  3. PVC
  4. LDPE (low density polyethylene) 
  5. PP
  6. PS
  7. OTHER

These numbers are resin identification codes that  tell the recycling plants whether or not they can be recycled. That’s why it’s important to sort your trash and recyclables. Making sustainable choices are amazing, but we must also remember that reducing our product usage is just as important. 

Scientists estimate that there will be more plastic pieces than fish by 2050. There’s a gigantic pile of it that circulates throughout the Pacific Ocean. As someone who loves to swim in the ocean, this is terrifying. There are many different tips online regarding how to be more eco-friendly, such as thrifting at thrift stores, buying eco-friendly clothing, and reusing spaghetti jars. But what about when it comes to skincare? 

When I found the brand Love from Yours, I was reminded of this. Love From Yours is a vegan, cruelty-free, customized skincare brand. With every product, Love From Yours ensures that sustainability comes first. Like many customized skincare brands, they ask you to fill out a quiz in order to determine the products that best suit your needs. What’s really extraordinary is how the assessment asked for my zip code in order to get a better sense of my environment. When customizing the products, it takes into account the humidity and the pollution levels of your area. 

After the assessment, I got the Drops of Balance serum, which was excellent for my oily and blackhead prone skin. I also got a Matte Moist moisturizer too. This was a really cool, gel formula for the nighttime. Additionally, I recieved the Drop of Light serum as well as the Milky Way night cream which is vegan and contains no milk. I loved both of these, but it was The Cloud Factory Cleanser and The Bounce Back balancing toner had me running back. The Cloud Factory was absolutely lovely, and it literally felt like a cumulus cloud on my face. It wasn’t overly stripping, and it didn’t leave me feeling unbalanced. It has a couple of ingredients like orange and fragrance - which I know some people don’t like - but overall, my skin handled it well. I think it’s a very nice, balancing cleanser. It can also be used for a double cleanse. The Bounce Back toner was also really refreshing. It has a lot of bacterial ferments which my skin soaked up. On top of having amazing Skincare Products, Love From Yours educates users on ingredients that work well for their skin because they show each individual ingredient recommended for them, not just the product.

What I also admire about Love From Yours is that it educates users about recycling. At the very bottom of the website, they have a recycling guide. Not only do they have a recycling guide, but they also build recycling and sustainability into their packages. When I received the bottles, I realized that they were  completely recyclable from start to finish. The recycling guide on their website even explains how to separate the different components and materials as well as how to scrap the bottle so you get 100% of the product out.   

As a consumer of skincare, this is super helpful to me. I have skin that I take care of everyday. Skincare is hygiene. It’s a basic necessity. It can be a ritual, not just a routine, and that’s something I love to indulge in. 

However, I don’t want that to come at the expense of animals, our oceans, our trees, and our air. We all share our Earth, and while I can’t be perfect, I’m doing what I can. That’s why I’m learning more and more every day how to skincare sustainably. 

When we throw products away, we have two choices. If we sort and dispose of them properly, they will be recycled or be sent to the dump. If they go to the dump, they may be sent to landfills, to other countries, or they may be burned and likewise generate more toxic fumes. Or as mentioned before, they can even end up in the swirl of garbage within our oceans. Unfortunately, when fish and marine life eat this, it harms them or makes its way into our bodies. Did you know have microplastics in us? If you eat fish, sushi, certain medications, or even drink water there are microplastics in these because they’re such an issue within our environment. 

Well, what if things were recycled properly? If we’re able to recycle products properly, they could be given new life. 

I had the opportunity to speak with Navneet Kaur, the owner of Love from Yours, and she explained how this was one of the main reasons behind the creation of her line. She was struggling with her skincare, but with her experience in data science and with her understanding of complex algorithms, she wanted to know how she could bring her love of skincare, science, and sustainability together. With her analytical and scientific mind, she’s created complex data sets that analyze skin, and she also created packaging that helps the environment. Navneet believes in a better future for us, the animals we share the planet with, and for future generations. Love From Yours pledges to bring their carbon footprint as close to net-zero as possible. Their cardboard packaging is also designed to support local, small artists.  Each product has a different illustrated design, and if you tear down the center of the packaging, you reveal the full illustration. 

The brand not only stands behind authentic people, but also clean marketing. I have an issue with brands who label there product “clean” and therefore insinuate that other products are “dirty.” Unfortunately, large retailers like Sephora don’t use the term properly and will also use the term “chemical-free.” But technically, even water is a chemical. Love From Yours commits to “clean” marketing because they share where their ingredients are sourced, how they were ethically sourced, how they don’t support child labor, and how they’re vegan and cruelty-free.  

Love From Yours isn’t just about consuming an awesome products. It about getting products tailored to you so you can reduce the unnecessary ones and waste less.